LED Grow lights

mcluvinMarch 25, 2010

Has anyone tried LED grow lights? If so please let me know what kind of experience you had. I am also interested in any pictures of plants grown with LED's.


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There is a gardenweb forum about growing under lights. I believe there are some pretty devoted folkz to LED's over there.
I have a small one, but haven't tried it yet. When I eventually set it up, my intention is to grow a small raft of lettuce under it and see what happens.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2010 at 7:56AM
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Haven't tried them yet, just waiting to the price comes down and the quality goes up as in my research they are good for green growth and low light crops i.e lettuce but not yet up to scratch with flowering and fruiting crops. The various cannabis forums is where you will find the most info on LED lights.

And what do you mean "some great ones on .." Andrew? your site doesn't sell anything at all, just a bunch of ebay links.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2010 at 2:55PM
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HPS is different from LED. How many lumens of PAR light does a HPS produce per watt? I'm getting flowers and toms from a 125 watt LED that covers the same sq. ft. a 400 watt HPS does. Basil grows faster under the HPS than the LED but I'm still getting great growth from the LED.

Once my seedling are done, I hope to try a couple of 23-watt CFL bulbs with the LED panel to see how they do.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 3:32PM
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What's up Mike! First time I've seen you over here on the hydro forum :~) Can you put up some pics of those tomatoes? I've yet to see anything impressive from LED's.

@mcluvin, IMOP, LED's are too expensive for the product they produce. I'm sure if you bought a big enough unit, you would get some good results, but who wants to look at red or blue plants all day? If your just experimenting, go for it. If you want production, with a low heat output, go with HO fluorescents or CFL's.

Those lights in the backround are $15 a piece, they produce 3,200 lumens a piece, 52 watts and everything is at Lowes or Home Depot.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 9:10PM
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i definitely agree with the previous post (urbangardenfarmer). i use 105W CFL and its great. bulbs are $20 or 30, bill is nominal, low heat.. cant beat it imo. yes, the led's in theory should be more efficient based on the chlorophyll absorption stuff, but the cfls still works great and are plenty cheaper. and if you use multiple 23w it should be even cheaper to get the same lumen output with probably better coverage.. i've found cfluniverse.com has the best prices (if theres a better price out there someone post!)

good luck!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 10:19PM
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yeap pics of toms grown under LED's please.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2010 at 3:26AM
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I only have one tom - this panel is for experimenting. I also have basil, a 7-pod pepper and soon some hydro broccoli. Took some pics today - no good. Images look horrible under the mostly red light. If it is sunny tomorrow, I'll turn the light off and try. I have Mylar behind it so a flash is pretty useless!


    Bookmark   April 8, 2010 at 7:56PM
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Yeah pics pl0x! I want to do LED tomatoes eventually. I tried growing in a mini fridge with an HPS light and it got too hot even with a cool tube.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2010 at 10:21PM
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This summer, I want to try some toms in water under the LED (hopefully be able to add another one) and supplement them with a couple of 23-watt 5K CFL bulbs. The goal would be to grow 16 of them with 400 watts of light.


    Bookmark   April 8, 2010 at 11:17PM
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These aren't great pics, but they may give you an idea. I prune my plants, severely. From growing in the GH, I've learned lot of leaves are not necessary. As soon as the leaves start turning yellow, they go to the compost pile.

The top part of the plant. There are two small toms growing close to the stake.

This one is from close to the bottom. Another couple of toms.

There are a couple more hiding in the middle behind leaves.


    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 7:13PM
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Haven't tried using LED but other growers say that it is more economical in the long run.

@grizzman--- Thanks for mentioning the growing under lights forum, I will have a look to check on the info about LED.

@wordwizz--- Are those tomatoes grown using LED?

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 1:29AM
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yes,may be i can help you,i have experience of LED grow light for almost 5years,as we know ,it contains three or four spcturm,red blue and orange,as well as violet.
and 400-410 Nanometers VIOLET - this band stimulates the overall growth of the plant. It promotes longer stems, and multiplies branches and buds. Improves the amount of protein and vitamins.

440-470 Nanometers BLUE - this band promotes synthesis of protein and vitamins

610 Nanometers ORANGE - this band helps the formation of chlorophyll synthesis and carbohydrates

630-660 Nanometers RED - this band is what started it all. Most popular for overall growth from seedling to flowering and producing fruit. If you had to choose just one growth band, this would be the one to pick!

740 Nanometers INFRARED- this band produces the thermal effect and provides necessary plant growth. Also promotes sprouting for seedlings and flowering for mature plants.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 11:16AM
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khyberkitsune(Redlands, CA)

Just speaking as a research director for a multi-national horticultural company that produces high-yield LED and no-light crop systems, the post above me isn't that close to being correct.

There are currently seven highly-efficient wavelengths for photosynthesis and biological functions, most other wavelengths are just wasted or poorly converted.

Can't say which ones those are, but you're looking at three outside of the visible range and four inside the visible range.

Have a pic of me doing what I do!

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 5:37PM
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There are "currently" seven - there use to be a different number or it will change in the future?! Oh please master light maker, reveal to us the magical wavelengths. Argue with the spammer above you and prove him wrong and how your product is so much superior.

I just love to see gibberish battles between LED light pimps!

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 3:13PM
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This research shows they give their plants light from red and blue LEDs. Something to try and then tell us if it works! ;-)

'Dutch PlantLab Revolutionizes Farming: No Sunlight, No Windows, Less Water, Better Food'


Here is a link that might be useful: Dutch PlantLab Revolutionizes Farming: No Sunlight, No Windows, Less Water, Better Food

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 1:33PM
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khyberkitsune(Redlands, CA)

"I just love to see gibberish battles between LED light pimps!"

Except I'm a global research director. I don't sell lighting, I simply figure out the facts and make systems that utilize those facts. In a different thread, I posted a link to my 'Zero-Light' tech.

As far as Dutch Plantlab - the turnaround time and power usage of their system is still way too high, not to mention their space usage. Their water figures are pretty poor as well, I can achieve 90% water reduction across almost every crop, and in some cases I can make that a 99% drop - versus traditional soil cultivation.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 3:01PM
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Call yourself a research director if you want, but you still work for the light manufactures. That's where your funding comes from. Without the light manufactures you wouldn't have a need to research or direct anything. Oh, and by the way, the title "director" does not impress me at all. Does the title "director of operations" impress you? That's just a fancy way of saying "the manager" at taco bell. So if one called themselves the director of operations at taco bell, that's just nothing more than saying the manager at a taco bell. The title "director" can be applied to anyone in just about any position, even if they have no employee's working under them. I'm just not impressed by job "titles" as easy as some might be.

The difference between you and plant lab is your just making claims that cant be verified, plant labs research is verifiable (they aren't hiding from the public). You can claim anything you want if it makes you feel good, but unless you show the documentation, including especially the "objective" research study's (not just your conclusions), as well as including how the study's/research was carried out in the first place, equipment used, and costs analysis so we the people can determine if it's reliable and/or even creditable or not, rather than just being one sided information, all your claim are nothing more than "gibberish." Otherwise anyone can make any claims they want, give themselves a good "title," and claim themselves and what they say to be creditable and reliable without any scrutiny. Only people with something to hide refuse to show their work and/or how they came to the conclusions they have (and that's not creditable, or even worth considering).

And yes, I've herd your sob story before. The company you work for dosen't allow you to give any information out about their top secret research. How convenient to say you have done all the research and know how to do things 100% perfect and cost effective (and nobody else does), but you just cant prove it, or even show anything except to make claims. A bunch of BS if I have ever herd one. There are simply a few problems with that.

First is even if that was true, that's because of those light pimps/manufactures your company gets it's funding from (and thus you works for), and that makes any claims highly suspect. Second Without being able to see how the research was carried out, it's imposable to determine if the research was even creditable or objective or not. Third if the results were so great as you claim, someone other than you would be using (and aware of) it. People don't provide funding for research just to hide it from the world, rather than use the results to make money. Even if the research was top secret, who ever owned the rights to that top secret information would be using it to make money.

Bottom line is they are using it to make as much money as they can, but the technology just isn't all you make it out to be (as any salesman would mislead you into buying their product) In your case you want us to buy into your information, that there is no verifiable record of, just your say so. As the commercial says, show me the carfax (and keep your misleading sales pitch to yourself). We all know that LED lighting can grow nice plants (real top secret stuff here), it can even grow large plants if you use enough LED lights. That just not in question. But we aren't millionaires (well not me anyway), and don't have access to unlimited amounts of money for equipment. The part that manufactures leave out is that LED lighting isn't cost effective yet. But they cant say that or they would never sell anything.

Instead they make claims (like someone I know) that are misleading by misrepresenting the coverage area the lights can "effectively" cover, as well as the "effective through" of light from one LED light fixture (coverage area) to sell their lights. Their claims are almost always based on using many, many multiple LED light fixtures, but they represent it as being done with just one. The question isn't weather plants can be grown with LED lights, it's weather it can be done for the same equipment "cost" as traditional lighting, as well as be able to maintain the same results as traditional lighting too. The claim of using less electricity is way over emphasizes by manufactures too. That's because their basing their claims on one light fixture being able to do more than it can. Using 40 watt LED lighting to replace a 400 watt MH light to grow some tomatoes wont save anything if you need 10 of them to do it. You still wind up using 400 watts, but your equipment cost skyrockets.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 7:39PM
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The really funny part is, do light manufacturers not understand that a two year old with a diffraction grating can figure out what wavelengths their light uses? Do they really think they can protect this "trade secret" knowledge of secret wavelengths?

    Bookmark   September 7, 2011 at 2:16PM
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It's easy to make standard corrects when measuring anything. And of course, there are certainly other more precise methods of measuring wavelengths. But the point is, you can't hide it.

And more to the point, why would anybody WANT to copy what you do?! Your "ZERO LIGHT" - there's more than enough light coming from the tuned LED's a few feet away to easily grow shade tolerant grass. Even the overhead light would probably be enough. This is an example of your cutting edge research? Ugh.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2011 at 12:24PM
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You should look at the video, it's linked in the growing under lights forum. It shows what sort of scientific method, and I use the term loosely, is used to establish the claim of "ZERO LIGHT". I'm looking at it and wondering if this is being sold to investors (without them actually seeing it) as some great new discovery that they are going to make a fortune on.

After all this, Research Director can't afford to actually reveal too much more. In fact, if that is a real picture of him, and anybody recognizes him, it could have a very serious negative impact on the multinational's stock value once people realize what, uh, who, is driving the company's product development and how the claims for those products were established.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 2:26PM
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Hello zathras ,
Can you post a link to the video/s? I ran a search for the user and found 20 posts, most in the forum you mentioned. But don't have time to read through them all. I did find one video in their posts, but I'm not sure if it's what your referring to. Also, I can tell you I did a internet search for the company in the video, and there's at least one serious discrepancy between the company and the user posting in this forum claiming to be their research director. That would definitely need to be explained to me, and that discrepancy (if possible) could only be cleared up by the actual company themselves.

As I expected, the video I saw dosen't show anything I would consider evidence or proof of anything (and is "USELESS" for that purpose). In fact, the one I saw was very poor quality, and extremely hard to hear what the person was even saying. As for the ZERO LIGHT theory, I saw plenty of light in there. And even if they wanted to say it was only for the camera (witch would be BS), there simply is no actual "PROOF" there weren't/aren't lights the plants (grass) all the time. The video I saw was nothing in the way of proof of anything to me, but it does raise a question about the person posting it's (as "PROOF" of something's) credibility to me.

Even so, after looking up the company online, I completely understand why "LOW" to "NO" light levels would be needed to grow the grass. Not saying there wasn't any trial and error to work it out. But simply easy enough to do, and nothing that could even remotely be considered "TOP SECRET" to anyone with common sense. Well except maybe in a stretch the nutrient solution composition perhaps, but even that could be perfected in a few months working with a reputable nutrient manufacture (if a custom nutrient was desired).

For the record, I totally agree that there are times employees are limited in what they can say/divulge about the work their company does. But there are still two major problems with that. First is there is just no proof the person is actually who they claim to be (in fact after seeing the video I doubt it even less now). But even giving the benefit of the doubt and assuming so, that dosen't change the fact the person just wants you to believe anything they say uncontested and/or un-scrutinized without question. That's unthinkable in the scientific community. Results of any reputable study's are scrutinized by their scientific peers before it can be considered fact/true.

But all we have here is some unknown person claiming they know more than anyone else in the scientific community, and "DEMANDING" to be believed without questioning where they get their information from. That dosen't fly in my book, and if it sounds too good to be true, well you know, it most likely isn't true. The most likely answer here is they simply don't want the study's/research (if it exists) to be scrutinized because then the truth would come out about how it was conducted, and the conclusions manipulated. I don't claim to be the smartest person in the world, but it's been at least two weeks since I fell off the turnip truck.

It's also been my experience that the people who demand to just be beveled because they feel they deserve it for some reason or another (what ever the reason) the hardest, just simply refuse to and/or can never seem to ever be able to back up what they demand you believe with any tangible evidence of it. Coincidence? I think not!!! They just don't want the truth to come out.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 4:47AM
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I think you found it, homehydro. I couldn't make out most of what was being said either, but I certainly didn't see any way to significantly block the LED's light and, granted I'm assuming here, but I think the entire setup was videotaped as it normally exists.

Feel free to correct me khyberkitsune or provide actual evidence. As it is, your claims appear to be false, and if you are selling them as is (something new and unique, like the light claims in the other thread), perhaps criminal. But it looks more like just bad science and ignorance instead of intentional misrepresentation.

Here is a link that might be useful: Supposed

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 1:32PM
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Thanks zathras,
Ya, that was the video I saw. And along with the light from the LED's, there's also plenty of light from the overhead florescent as well (for seedlings only a few days old). Now he could claim to have the florescent off when he isn't in the building, and a curtain separating the two sides. But I saw no evidence of any curtain, and the overhead florescent were clearly on eliminating the entire inside of the building when he entered it. There is a line going down the center, but it isn't a track for a curtain, and like you I saw nothing that would block light either.

According to the company's website, the grass goes from seed to feed in 7 days. Half that time the sprouts wouldn't need any light anyway. Then the last 2 to 3 days when the grass would be trying to do photosynthesis, the low light levels in that building would be plenty for it to begin doing that, and thus the green color. Also the low light levels would also help the grass to elongate, making them taller faster than normal.

If this is the persons idea of "top secret science," and wants to use the video as "proof" of this science that only he has developed, I can only fall down laughing. There is no new science going on, nor is there any actual controlled testing going on. But like any true salesperson, they will always want to try and represent their products as the best top of the line technology, and better than anyone elses product. The climes are often grossly misrepresented, and have no real documentation/research to back them up. If there is research/documentation they provide, it's not complete or doctored to try and boost the claims about the product, as well as not show anything negative about their products. That's why I simply don't just believe what a manufacture says about their products.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 5:36PM
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I just wanted to make a couple spelling corrections (there is no way to edit the posts once posted).

I meant illuminating, not eliminating. And I meant claims, not climes.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 11:53PM
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Some of the previous messages are getting quite off topic. I have had success with a 120W five band LED combined with 2 T5 HO's in a four foot reflective tent. Was able to raise seedlings, lettuces, basil, tomatoes and peppers. The peppers flowered and started to produced fruit. I moved them outdoors once the weather warmed up so I didn't get a chance to see any tomatoes produced. I have no doubt that tomatoes and peppers can grow to maturity under this combo, but the plants went into overdrive once they got out in the sun. Lettuces and basil however thrived extremely well under the LED/T5 combo which appears to rival or even beat outdoor growth. I should mention though that the toms and peppers were in pots and the lettuces and basil were in hydro, which may account for some the difference. I may try peppers and toms in hydro this year for comparison. The varieties I grew last year were too large for hydro.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2011 at 8:28AM
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khyberkitsune(Redlands, CA)

The LEDs were thrown in there LONG AFTER running tests on the zero-light production systems.

Also, with those LEDs all the way over there, the umol reading on a quantum meter - ONE. ONE MICROMOLE. That's not enough for ANYTHING, buddy, not even shade-tolerant grass. I suggest you learn how light works with plants before running off at the mouth again. Focus on how many micromoles it takes for any given reaction to be sustainable. Protip: 50umol minimum is the general minimum guideline.

However, there is a way to bypass that, and that's by directly stimulating plant energy systems (bypass photosynthesis) by specific electrical impulses at very very high frequencies through the nutrient solution that touches the roots.

Anyways, just finished putting 300w into a 30mm x 30mm package. 2,000 umol (sunlight intensity) from 28 inches away, a 1,000w HPS can't even do that. http://i.imgur.com/s0CDi.png So powerful it ranks with laser diodes (and can be used as a laser pump, as well.)

And then to top it off, my new rotary system is finished - grow a HUGE area using only a tiny fraction of what most LED users would use (180w compared to my ~60w, covering a 1.2m x 1.2m area) - http://i.imgur.com/UIuUi.jpg - So I just cut power by 66% AGAIN over the approximate 50% LED typically can achieve on vegetative plants.

Protip: You don't need to constantly shine light on plants. Chlorophyll is like a battery/capacitor. Understand that and you open up whole new worlds, as long as you have the basic understanding of an energy system. This is why light movers work.

Keep doubting, the facts are simple: LED works, the Zero-Light system works, and if they didn't work, I'd already be bankrupt and likely jailed for selling a fraud, if not outright KILLED by some countries I've done work in.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2011 at 11:27AM
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More claims, still no evidence. Wake me up when you present some.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2011 at 1:44PM
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But back to the original thread, I just had some seeds that popped sooner than expected. I didn't get them under a light quick enough and they all drooped over. After a couple of days under Aerogarden lights they were still laying on their sides. I stuck them under one of my room lights (6 5W neutral white LED's) and they were all standing straight and tall in less than 12 hours (the NW's have a strong blue spike). So yes, LED's work great - even white ones!

    Bookmark   October 18, 2011 at 4:31PM
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Let's hope these kids stop bickering and go back to the garden. LED's I think work great but there is some major deliberate confusion from the people selling LED's.

I'm using a LED grow light now. It's a blackstar 180w, so far as I can tell it's doing a great job of it. And bear in mind this is my first hydroponic grow. My yellow pear tomatoes have started to flower after 30 days from seed. The basil looks good, the thyme however doesn't I think the LED lights are actually to strong for them? but then I'm an amateur and have messed up the nutrients more than once!

The LED 180w is advertised as 180W but the true wattage is less, more like 100W, sellers are pretty dishonest and rate the light at the maximum LED potential output not the true wattage output. So be sure to ask what the actual wattage is excluding the fans.

AS for bands, well that's a another bucket of swill. Tri band should be enough. Mine has two IR chips, I know this case I can't see light coming out of them. Also some reds and blues. From what I can gather try band is good enough. 7 band may well just be marketing hype...till I see some real studies on this.

Below is a link to videos of the grow.

Here is a link that might be useful: Videos of LED grow

    Bookmark   October 19, 2011 at 11:04PM
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Oh forgot to mention, I dont' endorse blackstar LED's, no idea how they stack up against the other lights LED or otherwise.
I've ordered a 300w light for blue berries and will be posting vids on that. It's a seven band light... whatever that really means. So if you want to see how it goes subscribe to the channel on youtube.


Here is a link that might be useful: youtube videos of led grow

    Bookmark   October 19, 2011 at 11:11PM
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I think at least half of khyberkitsune's anger is focused towards me too, not just homehydro.

But I agree that the discussion of advances, or at least claims of advances, in the 100 year old technology of electro-culture, which has diverted this thread, should be opened in another thread. But unless somebody other than khyberkitsune has been working on it, it will be a very pointless thread...

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 1:58PM
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Well, LED grow lights are quite a new thing in terms of an efficient source of light becoming affordable. I would love to read more studies on wavelengths used and results for different plants if anyone has any?

Here are some I have bookmarked:

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 2:15PM
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    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 5:44PM
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oh wow, that's going to keep my busy!

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 8:12PM
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I would like to know how you can come to the conclusion that "LED grow lights are quite a new thing in terms of an efficient source of light becoming affordable". They are by far not affordable as of yet. Sure you can buy cheep LED light fixtures, but they aren't worth a dam. I have never seen a person buy a cheep LED light fixture that wasn't thoroughly disappointed in the misrepresentation of the results. Even people who buy the good LED light fixtures are always disappointed in the actual coverage area for them to work well. Again because of the misrepresentation by manufactures that want to sell their products. People buy them with the expectations that they will cover the same area as HID lights, but use less energy. Sure they will cover the same area, but only if you buy many of them (not just one). Then you spend way more than HID, and don't save that much electricity because you need so many light fixtures to cover the same space.

The expensive ones (that do a fairly good job) only cover so much area and still need to be placed about every 2 feet to work well. I simply cant consider spending between $10,000 to $20,000 to light a 10x20 grow space as affordable. As for cost to run the LED saving money. When you need to have a 40 watt light fixture every 2 feet in a 10x10 space your still going to need about 400 watts or more of lighting. How is that affordable to spend 10 times more in equipment costs, and save less than half in electricity?

There is no doubt that LED lighting will grow plants, and do it very well, but that dosen't make it affordable. Unless you just want to grow seedlings, or grow a few lettuce plants. Then depending on how much space yopu need to cover, one $400 LED light panel, or even three or four of the cheep $39.99 ones will do the job. But I still cant consider that affordable. I can do the same thing very well if not better with $60 worth of florescent lighting. LED's still have about 10 years to go before it becomes comparable, as well as reasonably affordable in my estimation. Tough I would be very happy if it were sooner.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 6:32AM
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Yes they are more expensive than HID and as I said are BECOMING affordable. 10 years, I doubt that probably more like 2. In some cases where heat is a consideration it's already a viable option if you consider the cost of cooling, ducting, additional electricity etc.
I have bought LED lights and I could have got away with cheaper CFL's, HID or whatever but I'll be running them for 18 hours a day for the next 5-10 years, producing veggies at home. They will pay them selves off over that time on reduced energy costs and replacement bulbs. But the main reason I got them is because they are nice and simple, just plug them in and hang them, don't have to worry so much how far they are away from the plants, the plants can grow right into them if I'm away for the weekend or be 18-24 in and do fine, no cooling, no ducting etc.
If you ignore the cost factor they are seriously awesome. Let's hope that price continues to drop!

    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 7:27AM
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Yes under very specific conditions where heat is of the utmost importance and consideration, and ventilation is not possible, LED can be a viable option. But lets be honest, just who does that entail "POT GROWERS." To anyone else ventilating the grow area is not only easy and cheep, but necessary to replace co2 used by the plants. The 18 inch fan that is blowing on me right now only uses 132 watts on full blast, that only cost me one penny ($0.01) to run per hour. If I run it full blast all day (24/7 hours) it cost me $0.24 a day, or about $7.50 a month running 24/7 all month long. The fan moves a good 1000 cubic feet of air per minute or more. A 10x10 grow room with 10 foot tall ceilings (most rooms are 8 feet tall) is 1000 cubic feet of air volume. This $20 fan can circulate/ventilate the entire 10x10's air volume every minute, and for one penny per hour.

Don't forget that even though LED lights run cooler (but only if you use less total wattage due to the added LED light fixtures you'll need), LED lights aren't air conditioners. The room temp will never be lower than the outside temp. So by simply ventilating the air (which needs to be done anyway) you can easily achieve the same air temps as LED, and cheaply with simple ventilation. The claim about cost savings using LED is mostly manufactures hype to sell the things (unless perhaps your growing pot in a closet and cant afford your neighbors to smell the exhaust air from your plants/grow room).

The extra $5 to $10 a month to ventilate a grow area, does not by any means justify spending the extra thousands of dollars in equipment to me. Yes, I know the propaganda that it will pay for itself in ten years, but it needs to pay for itself now, not in a decade. I would be spending the money now, not ten years from now. Well if they had an offer that I could pay for it in ten years (when it's supposed to pay for itself) rather than now, that I might consider the buy when it has already payed it's own way (not riding on my back for a decade). But to those that have the money to spend now and wait 10 years to break even, all I can say is would you like to share some of that money with someone less fortunate?

As far as my expectations about it taking it 10 years before LED becomes an affordable option. That's mostly based the past. LED's have been used for growing plants as early as the 70's and' 80's, and not much has changed in that time. Other than manufactures seeing an opportunity to make a buck by misrepresenting the capability's of their product. If they could create a comparable product, I would have expected they would have spent that time doing so, rather than trying to deceive people. So I just don't think they can expand on that technology much, at least not in the near future.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 9:25AM
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um... not sure where you are getting your numbers from... a decent HPS 600w system is anywhere from $200-400.
I picked up a 300w LED light for $300, not thousands. This has Blue, Red, IR etc. 3 watt chips, single chip. If you look at those studies posted (not the studies posted by the LED sales guys, which reflect light used in lower plants) the ones on higher plants. This 300w should be more effective than a 600w HPS.
I'm an amateur grower but I've got tomatoes flowing from see in 30 days under a 180w LED (which is actually a 100w draw).
So I don't get where you are coming from on this, it's working and cost effective for me and I don't have a heat problem living in the North East.
Check out my videos if you don't believe me.

Here is a link that might be useful: LED grow

    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 12:46PM
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oops, sorry wrong link on the videos this one

Here is a link that might be useful: LED Grow

    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 12:54PM
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Your using 1 led panel, but you have very small plants (going by the videos), and the grow area looks to be little more than 2 foot by 2 foot (just about the range for one LED light panel). Just wait until those tomato's get bigger than 3 feet tall and see what happens. Again you are growing in a very small area, so one panel will work there (until the plants get tall). But now if you wanted to use the same LED panels for a 10x20 grow space like the 10x20 greenhouse I'm building right now. You would need one of those light panels spaced every 2 feet (on center) in a 10x20 space that is 200 square feet. To space them close enough for them to work well in that large of an area you would need about 40 to 50 of those LED panels. Even using the lower number of light panels needed 40x $400=$16,000, even at $300 each that would be 40x $300=$12,000 (thousands).

Now considering you could efficiently light up the same 10x20 space with 6 to 8, 400 watt HPS lights, and at about $200-$250 each, that would run about 8x $250= $2000. So to light up the same 10x20 space it would cost well in excess of ten grand more to do using LED lighting. LED needs to come down in price by about 10x before it's comparable to HPS in regards to being affordable.

That is unless your crop is pot. Then you can afford $20,000 for lighting when your growing a crop that potentially gets you $50,000 to $100,000 every 4 months. That's the primary industry that finds LED a viable option. The other is some company's that are growing small plants like lettuce. Where because they are small plants, the fact the LED's need to be within 2 feet of the plants foliage to be effective enough (unless you flood the area with LED panels), that isn't really an issue. The reason commercial growers aren't using LED much is simple, their just not cost effective yet.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 5:49PM
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So you're saying your going to use 8X400 HPS to cover 200 sq ft? Good luck with that.
And your saying 15kw LEDs = 3.2kw HPS? get real man... seriously?! LED's are far more efficient than HPS. I don't know what planet you are on.
That's from your example for 200 sq ft: 8X400W=3200W vs 50X300W=15Kw

As for coverage area of an LED panel, there are many different configurations available different angles of lenses (coverage area) and different wattage of chips (penetration depth).

Anyway, this seems to be more of a religion to you than anything else you have some reasonable points but you exaggerate the facts so much to make a point you loose all credibility much like that LED salesmen. Hey some people still believe the world is flat and some people still use the imperial system and best of luck to them.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2011 at 1:23PM
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The example I gave using 8, 400 watt HPS was overkill I know. I would most likely not need any more than 6 for that grow space. I just used figures/costs for 8 as a worst case scenario. Also the greenhouse I am building wont be using artificial lighting. It's located outside in an area that revives a lot of direct sunlight, and wont need supplemental lighting. The example was just meant to give the idea of what would be needed if you were trying to grow in that size space using artificial lighting. As well as meant to explain that in order to consider LED cost effective for anyone who want's to grow more than a few small plants like a newbie (and like in your videos), what they could expect to spend to do so. That was meant as a cost compassion that most people with half a brain would be able to understand that there are always variables (so I didn't make a list of them all, and post different figures for all thousand of them). But most people with a brain would notice that even considering the variables, there's a huge difference in equipment cost between LED and HPS on that scale.

But Yes if I were to be using even 8, HPS lights I wouldn't have any problem keeping the greenhouse the same air temp as outside. The greenhouse walls are just over 8 feet tall, and 10 feet wide. The top is a "A" frame, and is 12 feet tall at the top apex. Because heat rises, all I would need to do is add a couple of fans in the top to exhaust the warm air, and add some vents near the bottom to allow the cooler outside air in as the warm air was blown out.

And NO I never said "15kw LEDs = 3.2kw HPS?" that was what you came up with. I never gave any conversions. That is truly the rederick from a newbie that is relying on propaganda to come up with numbers to get a (on paper) comparison. I don't care what fixture you are using, or configuration the bulbs are in. If the plants foliage (top and bottom) is more than 18 inches away from the LED light source, they wont be able to be efficient in doing photosynthesis. Even with the magical LED panel you bought, and it's magical spectrum/wavelength. But if you want to keep the illusion that the LED light panel you bought is equal to a 600 watt HPS, it's your illusion, and you are entitled to it.

There was no exaggeration whatsoever in my example. The fact is the spacing was taken directly WORD FOR WORD from a commercial POT GROWER describing his setup. That's why I said "on center" in ( ), because that was the exact words from the grower himself. I didn't exaggerate anything. There are some valuables like the exact cost for each LED panel's, but the UFO panels he was using go for between $300-$400 each. As for the amount of panel's needed, that was just a mater of simple math.

10 feet wide divided by 2 foot spacing = 5 (10 divided by 2= 5). 20 feet long divided by 2 foot spacing= 10 (20 divided by 2= 10). So 5x10= 50, but because you can place the end light panels a foot or so in from the walls, I dropped the number of light panels needed by 10, to 40 for the example.

I don't rely on propaganda for information. I rely on REALITY. I don't care what figures you have read or have on paper. I want to know REAL WORLD RESULTS, that means I want to know from people with the systems what equipment they are using, results they are getting, variables that could affect the results etc... Not what they read about and want to project as reality. Projections are projections, actual results are reality.

But there's one thing you seriously misunderstand, and that is I couldn't care less about any credibility rating. I'm simply not here to gain credibility (unlike 90% of other forum users). If I were I would kiss but like a politician. there is simply nothing in it for me even if you gave me the highest marks, and a 110% credibility rating. So threatening me with giving me a low credibility rating is meaningless to me, and just laughable. But even if you you don't believe or agree with me, that's fine. I don't really care about that either. Your not spending my money, so why would I care? But the one thing I do expect is to be treated with common respect. That means not being disrespectful just because you don't agree. If that continues I will return the favor with full force. You should be able to disagree without being disrespectful.

Just don't think (unless you want to) you are the first newbie that has been all gung ho about LED lighting, and felt they did all the research so they knew all about it. I belong to 2 forums, and I have seen sooooo many people post how great LED lighting is, and how they are going to save sooooo much money in both forums for about 3 years now. But the same thing always happens. They start off so excited, but then reality happens. They realize the LED's they were so hopeful about didn't preform as expected. One out of ten might try adding more LED lights, but the rest realize it would be to costly, and go with HID in the end.

Religion? Ha Ha, that's so funny I forgot to laugh. But I am turning a hobby (that you seem to think funny) into a livelihood. The greenhouse I'm constructing is just the start, and will be able to produce between $30,000 and $40,000 a year for me. But as I said it's just the beginning, within 6 months I plan to expand using the profits. So I do take hydroponics seriously. And again I couldn't care less if you want to believe me or award me credibility points. Bottom line none of that will make me any money, I just want to make my business as productive as I can. If I help someone along the way then that's fine and good, but if not, that's not my responsibility.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2011 at 8:11AM
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The greenhouse sounds like a fun project, I'm envious, wish I had the space.

Your pot grower example is outdated, using the old 90w UFO's, they are expensive are outdated and frankly not applicable to a the greenhouse example. Take a look at the more powerful panels they have come down in price and can get 300w-1kw for a 300W you can pick them up for $300, so 3 times the coverage and output for the same price LED example you are using, also the old 90w UFO's use 1w chips as opposed to 3w chips which have more penetration. Was wondering why your numbers where so off. So maybe you aren't exaggerating just basing you numbers of the wrong lights. Yes and they still sell those silly UFO's so that creates confusion.

There's nothing magical about tailoring the wavelengths there are plenty of studies out there some done before LEDs and some recent, red and blue are what is primarily used by plants, mostly red, so being able to target those saves on watts needed, pretty simple. Where it get's complicated is some plants like different ratios of the different wavelengths but you don't have to get it precise for a hobby grow to save on output needed. Also Watt for watt the light output of an LED is far more than CFL, HPS and HID, that's well documented.

So if you need 8x400W HPS then you need less W in LEDs for the same space... and here's the key, if you buy the right LEDs. But then if your going to be spending that much on lights I would expect a person would do their homework.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2011 at 9:27AM
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I admit I don't get the "LED lighting monthly," or the "LED gazet" but I hardly feel the the info is outdated. As for your statement about my numbers being off, well they aren't my numbers, their your numbers that you projected. I only gave spacing between LED panels needed/recommended. The rest was your projection/numbers. My statement about you having the magical wavelength light panel is simple, and I'm sure you don't agree. But the panels you refer to, or any for that matter (regardless of the CHIP) wont give you better results. The light panels still need to be placed within a much closer distance, thus much smaller effective coverage area.

The only difference between the older models of LED and the ones that came out last week is the amount of actual LED lights in it. The newer panels are slightly more effective because the cost per LED came down a bit. Allowing for more actual lights per light panel. That is no different than having more light panels that have less light bulbs in it (as in the UFO's). So perhaps with that in mind the spacing could be updated to more like 2-1/2 feet per panel, or if your using particularly large panels, perhaps a 3 foot spacing.

As for the claims about watt for watt LED being more efficient. I would half agree. If the actual light output of a LED setup and HPS were exactly the same. That means not the LED equivalent, but the ACTUAL wattage were the same, LED would be more efficient. But that also means there is no cost savings because you are using the same amount of wattage (electricity). Also there is no getting around the fact that LED is really only effective under 24 inches (unless there's a significant numbers of light sources), and that HID has a far greater light throw (thus the need for more light panels to take up the slack using LED). Bottom line you don't save any money in electricity to run it, and still need more light fixtures to get good coverage.

But if you have what you think is newer/better information, I would be happy to check it out. But keep in mind that I'm not interested in propaganda, and or study's without specific information documented. I'm only insured in reality, not "projected theoretical projections." I would be interested in any information/study's that show and/or document the exact equipment used, including the equipment cost (model# etc. for comparison). Light panel spacing, energy cost to run all the panels (including total actual wattage used), and type of crop grown. I'm also not interested in how they work on small plants. I'm only interested in how they work for large plants like tomato's, cucumbers, melons, squash, raspberries, indeterminate pepper plants etc..

Bottom line I'm only interested in real world results, not projections on how it would/should preform. But how it's actually preforming for commercial growers (as well as commercial scale university study's). Anything less is just propaganda, and theoretical projections, and I'm only interested in reality. I have never said that LED wont grow plants, just that the cost for the equipment needed to do so effectively (on a larger scale) is still far to high to consider.

As I mentioned before, almost 100% of growers that were so excited about their choice in LED lighting, completely change their mind and decide to go with HID before their first grow is even done. Simply because they didn't preform as expected. That's not a decades old observation, but is from my personal experience interacting with people on two forums over the past 3 years, and what they report on how they actually worked in real life, (reality).

    Bookmark   October 29, 2011 at 5:45AM
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lol you are far from reality, it's quite simple math. LED is more efficient than HID, HPS in general, that's a well known fact because with the older light much of the energy goes to heat. On top of this you can target the wavelengths which makes them even more efficient that too is a well known fact, see the studies posted above.
So by definition you need less watts per sq.ft. very simple.
There is no other magic, it's really that simple.
Your turn to provide studies? you basing your wonky logic off some pot growers journal? get real man.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2011 at 9:17AM
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Well there you go feeling the need to be disrespectful again. I'm not sure what stick you have gotten stuck up your butt, but get someone to stick their hand up there and pull it out for you. I quickly looked at those study's and they don't have any of the information (from real commercial operations) I'm interested in. I could post dozens of study's like that as well, but they are pointless because they are NOT BASED ON REAL COMMERCIAL USE AND ACTUAL APPLICATIONS, THEY ARE JUST THEATRICAL PROJECTIONS THAT NEWBIES LIKE YOU THINK IS THE GREATEST THING IN THE WORLD.

Those study's are just looking at wavelengths and growth rates. NOT ACTUAL PRACTICALITY AND COSTS FROM A WORKING COMMERCIAL APPLICATION standpoint, and that's what makes them not practical yet (cost effective). Those study's are also normally funded by light manufactures that only publish the info that makes their products look good. Even if the study was done by a university (If they ever want to get funding in the future). That's why the practicality and actual cost to accomplish the results are not published, they don't want you to know what the actual cost is to get the results.

I'm basing my opinions IN PART on how a commercial pot grower grows his product. That is because IT IS A REAL WORLD APPLICATION AND RESULTS. But I have also seen where a few other commercial growers that used LED lights for growing lettuce and bush peppers. The reason I don't really mention them is because they GAVE NO SPECIFIC INFORMATION ON THE LIGHTING SETUP that I can refer to. But from looking at it the spacing and light setup, it was VERY SIMILAR to the pot growers. The main difference was they were using a custom LED lighting system, but were still using tens of thousands, if not hundred's of thousands of individual LED light bulbs, and were spaced no farther away from the plants foliage than 18 inches. I'm also basing my opinions on the dozens of newbies like yourself that try LED lighting each year, and are thoroughly disappointed in their ACTUAL RESULTS (you must have missed me mentioning at least 3 times).

Your just a typical newbie, you've read all the study's and think you know everything there is to know about LED lighting (except the ACTUAL RESULTS). But once you find out how that LED panel actually preforms, you'll change your tune. Especially if you ever decide to grow more than a couple small plants like you have going now.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2011 at 2:18AM
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Interesting conversation guys. It will be interesting to see how this all shakes out in the future.

Question for you homehydro. I've heard that HID lights penetrate deeper than LED grow lights as a general rule. When I say penetrate I mean that they get down to the lower levels of the plant more. What's the reasoning behind that? Is it just because they are more powerful or is there something else?



    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 5:39PM
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No, it's not the wattage, or that they use more power, it's an inherent flaw/limitation that LED lights aren't able to project the effective light as far from the light source as HID. Often it's called "light through." I call it "light intensity" myself, but some will refer to it in PAR, lumins, lux etc.. They are all just measurements of the same thing "the effectively of light at a given point." The key thing is the given point of the measurement (of light intensity) is taken (not the reference in which it's measured). Measuring it at different increments will show you just how much it drops off the farther away you get.

No mater what light bulb you use, the farther away you get from the light source, the lower the light intensity is. That goes for any light bulb known to man. But Some light sources like LED and florescent have a much lower effective range than HID (regardless of actual wattage used).

Usable light for plants isn't the same as light as you can see. So don't confuse "light throw" for plant use with with visible light (how far you can see with it). LED lighting has about the same light through as florescent lighting. The reason florescent lighting isn't used for larger plants, and/or for commercial scale operations is because of it's limited light through. Limited light throw results in many more light fixtures to take up the slack (for any given space). The extra light fixtures cost extra money, and also use "extra wattage" to make up for it's short usable light through.

So No you can have a 400 watt LED light (actual output), and a 400 watt HID light, and the HID will have an effective light through of more than twice that of LED. Covering a much larger area more effectively regardless of square footage area being covered.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 6:44AM
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The light drop off has more to do with the reflectors then the light source itself. Many newer LED's have lenses right on the the individual LEDs themselves that focus light below which reduces drop off from distance giving higher "intensity". The reflector on HID has the same function. Early LEDs had a wide angle, and the reason for their reputation for less "intensity". Fact is, LED's have improved a lot recently, and the decent quality LED's do outperform HID's, but more like 30%-50% less power (if you include ballasts etc, not the exaggerated claims of some suppliers.

Personally, I like LED's, as I've had good luck with them, and looking to upgrade to the latest generation products. Yes, they cost more, but not only do they save power in the wattage they use, but in my basement grow, LED's provide just the right temperature and humidity without having to deal with major heat or humidity issues. Under LED's in my grow, my only concerns are with nutes and pests.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2012 at 2:52PM
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jonesboy_eia(east Ia)

Feelings are fragile and should be handled with care.

You cannot go ahead while you are getting even.
If it is not the right thing to do, never do it;
if it is not the truth, never say it,
Keep your impulses in hand.

I used to be indecisive, Now I'm not sure.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 10:04AM
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I am sure that Homehydro is annoying but at least he knows everything about everything.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2012 at 1:15AM
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howelbama(7 NJ)

I love how the Internet has turned everyone into doctors. Google should start issuing PhDs based on how many time someone has searched a particular topic. Lol, these forums are out of control.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 12:36AM
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Well LED grow lights are the best way to opt for the indoor plants growing. They works efficiently with the low power consumption and emits less heat. It is considered as the best source for the energy saving. There are many LEDs available in the market such as CREE LEDs, Apollo LEDs which often gives the good results.

Here is a link that might be useful: The led grow light I'm using

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 9:58PM
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HID are the most economical lighting system ever!

More lums to watt. LED are too expensive still. They can not fruit plants like HID can. They do not have spread like HID. There is no lighting system the is better then HID for plant growth.

Just like homehydro said.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 5:13PM
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you should have a try,it is great

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 8:53AM
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I have got some led lights for my room. You can say one thing about them they consume much less power

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 5:55AM
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Switched from a 175 watt DE MH bulb to 16 Rebel ES 3 watt LEDs driven at 1 amp. Everythigng grows well in my reef tank.
I am very doubtful if anyone does a DIY system using A maker's LED heatsink(cheap and can be finished without DIY hassle), and chooses the right spectrum of Rebel ES leds they can't get HID performance. I have enough LED leftover to make another light, I'd like to try it sometime to see what happens, however, they are 10K and for reefing I was always told 6.5K was best for growth(terrestrial plants want mostly blue for growth right?). A 2:3 ratio of 10K to royal blue (460Nmish) is best for reefs, but I have enough to do all 10K at 30 or so watts.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 11:35PM
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WOW!! Did this question stir up a hornets nest or what? I switched over to led's a year ago after four years of trying different ways to get rid of the heat from HID's.
I'll never switch back! Less heat, less energy costs, more crystals on my bud because the heat from HID lighting didn't burn them off, and more peace of mind(not always checking if your plants are to close to the light).

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 5:39PM
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    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 5:42PM
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UV light is detrimental to health of a plant. So most plant leaves, including fruits, will produce protective pigments or molecules on their peripheral anatomies. Majority of the chemicals are found on the skin of the fruit. In edible culinary terms, these are known as anti-oxidants (i.e. resveratrol of grape skin - read: red wine). Plants grown under artificial light indoors are never exposed to UV light because 99% of artificial grow lights do not produce UV. Thus, these plants are always lacking in select antioxidants. LED's are no exception.

Don't waste time on LED's unless you know your plant's exact wavelength requirements (i.e. 460nm and 650nm). If you know these, this is the best grow light given that each LED is atleast 1.5W (and no, 3x 0.5W LED's do not make 1.5W). For most people, this is an expensive route. In our lab, we had to get these custom made and it was expensive. Hard to find manufacturers.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 2:53AM
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I have gotten great results with UFO LED Grow Lights. The do tend to last a long time, give off little heat and take up very little power.

I do know that many of them target specific frequencies of light that plants respond well to. I think I noticed immediate improvement when using them, as opposed to the CFL lights.

Hope that help!

Here is a link that might be useful: LED Grow Lights

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 4:49PM
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few photos. transformer. it stays cool to the touch.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2015 at 8:43PM
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second photo. light.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2015 at 8:44PM
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third photo. passiflora incarnata seedling and algerian ivy. the light is new. I am going to see if it'll grow the passiflora and also use it on an orchid. The passiflora will give me a good idea on whether or not it works.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2015 at 8:47PM
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the light is not marketed as a grow light, instead as a pond light or landscape spotlight. I cannot look into the thing when it's on, it's bright. I like the thing. It is straight out of China. I am pretty sure my orchids are gonna love it.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2015 at 9:02PM
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Here is another photo, came out interesting. perhaps showing distance, the green, just too far from bulb, but enough blue in it where it looks like it just might work. . ummm, I don't know. Could be my device. This will be just a few hours a day of use on the bulb, 4 to 6 the rest they are gonna get cfl.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2015 at 9:24PM
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trying to show the bulbs inside and glass type. last photo on it. quality item great price. It's the glass on it that is really pushing the grow potential. I am not going inside it, so this is as close as it gets. lol. they are red and blue lights inside. showing green that close. it is mist proof. marketed as waterproof. I am not gonna submerge it and suggest no one else does.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2015 at 9:31PM
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innovative, looks like a laser led, so the glass is essential, I am only posting to share the info in case it is something new. your welcome and no need to thank me, just if you come across one of these do not look into the light.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2015 at 9:39PM
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